Erik James Walker
- Bats Left, Throws Right
- Height 6' 4", Weight 225 lb.
- School University of North Carolina at Charlotte
- High School West Forsyth High School
Pitcher Erik Walker went 11-2 with a 0.78 ERA as a high school senior. Moving on to UNC Charlotte, he had a 0-5, 4.71 record as a freshman with three saves. The next year, he improved to 2-4, 4 Sv, 4.08 in 2004, leading the team in ERA. Walker's junior year was very good as he went 4-2 with 12 saves and a 1.86 ERA. He struck out 67 and allowed 32 hits in 53 1/3 IP, though he walked 31. He set the University save record and was one off of the lead in Conference USA.
In 2006, the 22-year-old reliever was 0-3 with seven saves and a 3.48 ERA, though he did whiff 50 and allow only 30 hits in 41 1/3 IP. He finished his college career as UNC-Charlotte's all-time saves leader. The Tampa Bay Devil Rays drafted him in the 20th round of the 2006 amateur draft. Playing for the Hudson Valley Renegades, he had a 3-1 record, 7 saves and a miniscule 0.48 ERA. He gave up just 18 hits and 6 walks, striking out 53 in 37 2/3 IP.
Walker's promising young career was cut short soon after his 23rd birthday. On Saturday, October 21, Erik and his girlfriend were canoeing along New River rapids in Virginia when the boat flipped over. Walker's girlfriend made it safely to shore but his dead body was found by a search team five days later.
Main Sources: UNC Charlotte website, Minorleaguebaseball.com